Ghana Smart Schools Project good but preloading of textbooks on machine a sham - Prof. G. K. T. Oduro

Education Ghana Smart Schools Project good but preloading of textbooks on machine a sham - Prof. G. K. T. Oduro
APR 1, 2024 LISTEN

An Educational Leadership Scholar and a former Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof. George K. T. Oduro has noted that government's recently launched Ghana Smart Schools Project appears good on the surface but is fraught with issues.

One of the main challenges; according to Prof. Oduro is the claim that the tablets have been preloaded with textbooks. "How possible when we all know the SHS curriculum is yet to be finalised? Are contents of textbooks not informed by curriculum?" Prof Oduro quizzes.

In a telephone conversation with Yoel Prah on Saturday, 30th March, 2024 on GBC Radio Central Show dubbed "Centre Stage", the Educational Leadership Scholar argued that "on the surface, the project is good because, all other things being equal, the tablets are going to support student learning."

According to him, in pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals, any initiative that seeks to advance the course of quality education "ought to be lauded", if properly planned.

He added that the laptop being designed with preloaded textbooks when the curriculum is not ready is "where I find a challenge with the initiative" positing that "currently, curriculum for Senior High Schools has not been finalised. Where there is no finality on the curriculum, preloading textbooks raises questions regarding the hidden intent of the project."

He hinted that the many challenges bedevilling some schools across the country make the implementation of the initiative problematic. "There are about 5000 schools still operating under trees according to EduWatch, feeding challenges at the senior high level remain challenging and you prioritize laptops? Where should our priority be? It is a good policy but in terms of priority, is it?" he quizzes.

He further questioned the rationale for government spending so much money on procuring past questions for students when it knew it would launch a tablet containing it including textbooks and others: "This raises a question of value for money," he stressed.

Regarding the timing of the initiative, Prof. Oduro intimated that the challenges enumerated and "because we are in an election year is it not a means of influencing votes? Just to get students to vote for you? It raises an issue there."

The former Pro VC of UCC admitted that it is a good initiative because attempts have been made in the past to provide laptops for teachers which helps to change the narrative about teaching and learning. "But, considering current challenges facing schools in our country which threatens students' learning environment, a big question mark comes up," he emphasised.

DC Kwame Kwakye
DC Kwame Kwakye

Broadcast JournalistPage: DCKwameKwakye